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Vitality Blast 2023: Scores, Match Reports, Results, Scorecards May 24th

Somerset's Tom Abell
Somerset's Tom Abell

There were wins for Kent Spitfires, Worcestershire Rapids and Somerset today, in the Vitality Blast 2023.

South Group

Kent v Gloucestershire

A near full house at Canterbury saw the Kent Spitfires rout Gloucestershire by seven wickets in their opening Vitality Blast fixture of 2023.

Match Summary

Kent vs Gloucestershire, South Group, Vitality Blast

Kent 116/3 (13.3 ov)

Gloucestershire 113/10 (16.3 ov)

Result - Kent won by 7 wickets


Points Table
The 2021 Champions cruised home with 6.3 overs to spare, closing on 116-3 in reply to the visitors meagre 113 all out.

Micahel Hogan took three for 13 while Grant Stewart, Jack Leaning and Kane Richardson all took two apiece as the visitors collapsed from 82 for 3 all out in 16.3 overs.

Chris Dent was the visitors’ top scorer with 55, but none of his team mates made more than 12.

Tom Smith claimed three for 22 but it was a chastening evening for Goucestershire. Joe Denly anchored Kent’s reply an unbeaten 35 before Jordan Cox stole the show by clubbing 39 from 17 balls, including a huge six for the winning runs.

With over 3700 packed into the Spitfire Ground and standing room only on the bankings, Gloucestershire’s chose to bat and repented at leisure.

Hogan struck early, getting Grant Roelofsen caught on the boundary by Joey Evison in the second over, although the momentum was back with the visitors when Kane Richardson’s first over as a Spitfire went for 19.

Leaning then bowled Miles Hammond for nine but Dent hit successive sixes in George Linde’s first over, only for the visitors to lose their last seven wickets for just 31 runs.

Leaning had Ollie Price caught at long off by Richardson for 12 and although Dent reached 50 when he glanced Leaning for four, Hogan started the collapse when he took two wickets in the tenth over. Dent fell to an acrobatic catch by Sam Billings, who was back behind he stumps after handing Cox the gloves for the last two championship games, before Jack Taylor offered the wicket-keeper a dolly.

Denly ran out Zafar Gohar for eight before James Bracey swiped Grant Stewart to the square leg boundary, where he was caught by Leaning for seven.

Two balls later Stewart bowled Paul van Meekeren for a duck and although Smith just survived the next delivery, he was out for four when he chipped Richardson to Jordan Cox.

Richardson then wrapped up the innings with 21 balls to spare when he had David Payne caught behind for a golden duck.

There was an early hiccup in the chase when Tawanda Muyeye tried to drive Price and was caught by Hammond at mid-off for six but Kent were almost halfway to the target by the end of the powerplay, at 55 for one.

When Daniel Bell-Drummond was lbw to Smith for 27 it broke a 52-run partnership and Billings was then out for six when he tried to reverse-sweep Smith and fell to a juggling catch by Zafar, but that was as close as Kent came to a wobble.

With the run rate under four they didn’t need to take any risks but Cox seemed to be in a hurry, taking 17 from van Meekern in the 12th over, including a gubernatorial flicked six over backward square leg.

He scrambled a single of the next ball to keep the strike and then smacked Zafar for a huge six over into the Cowdrey Stand to win the game.

Somerset vs Hampshire Hawks (County Ground, Taunton)

Revenge was sweet for Somerset as seamers Craig Overton and Matt Henry led them to a crushing eight-wicket Vitality Blast victory over reigning champions Hampshire Hawks at sun-drenched Taunton.

Beaten in last season’s semi-finals by the same opponents, the hosts dominated from the start after winning the toss, Overton claiming three for eight from four overs and Henry two for 19 from three to leave the Hawks 27 for five.

The Blast title holders never recovered and were bowled out for 74, their lowest ever T20 total, in 16.1 overs, Ben Green taking three for 11 and Lewis Gregory two for 13, while Overton added four catches to his heroics with the ball.

It was a ruthless display by the Somerset seamers, backed by some razor-sharp fielding. In reply, the hosts breezed to 74 for two off just 9.3 overs, Tom Banton smiting 40 off 24 balls.

Overton and Henry appeared to be trying to outshine each other when the Hawks innings began in front of a packed crowd, both maintaining excellent line and length.

Sam McDermott fell to the last ball of Overton’s opening over, caught two-handed to his left by Tom Kohler-Cadmore at slip.

It was nine for two when Henry struck with his first delivery, bowling James Vince between bat and pad with a ball that nipped back. The New Zealand Test bowler then had Joe Weatherly caught at mid-on by Overton off a skyer to make it 12 for three in the fourth over.

By the end of the six-over powerplay, the Hawks were in disarray at 26 for three. Their plight worsened when Overton had Tom Priest caught behind attempting to pull a short ball.

Overton notched his third victim in the same over as Toby Albert was also snaffled by wicketkeeper Banton, going hard at a wide delivery.

Albert had scooped a six off Henry, but it was a rare moment of defiance from the Hawks as Overton produced 17 dot balls in bowling his allotted four overs straight through from the River End

Rightly impressed by his opening attack, Somerset skipper Tom Abell did not make a change until the eighth over, which saw Peter Siddle replace Henry.

Ross Whiteley hit fours off successive balls from Gregory and Liam Dawson pulled a a six off Green as Hampshire briefly threatened a recovery.

But, having helped take the score to 57, Dawson fell to another Overton catch, this time at fine leg off a scoop, and Scott Currie went in the same Gregory over, the 12th of the innings, bowled off a bottom edged pull shot.

Whiteley had reached his side’s top score of 18 when caught by Kohler-Cadmore, diving forward at long-off, having made decent contact with a Green full toss.

At 61 for eight, the Hawks were down and out. Chris Wood was pouched by the diving Overton at mid-off off Green, who completed the rout by having Nathan Ellis, who had taken 13 off Henry’s final over, caught at long-on by the same fielder.

Somerset’s big-hitting batting line-up were never likely to be troubled chasing such a paltry total and Banton soon signalled his intentions to end the match early by clearing the ropes with a ramp shot off Wood in the 3rd over.

A scoop off Ellis brought the England T20 international another boundary, followed up next ball by a clip through the leg side for four. Will Smeed was caught at short third man for five in the same over, but by the end of their power play, Somerset were comfortable at 37 for one.

Banton launched another six over mid-wicket off Dawson before being stumped in the same over chasing a wide one. Kohler-Cadmore (18 not out) got off the mark by smashing the spinner over wide long-on for a maximum and by then the outcome had long been beyond doubt.




North Group

Northants Steelbacks vs Worcestershire Rapids (County Cricket Ground, Northampton)

Worcestershire Rapids (196-9) beat Northamptonshire Steelbacks (181-8) by 15 runs

Leg-spinner Usama Mir ruined David Willey’s Northamptonshire homecoming with a decisive spell to guide Worcestershire Rapids to victory in their Vitality Blast opener at Wantage Road.

The Pakistan white-ball international, making his Rapids debut as short-term cover for the incoming Mitchell Santner, bamboozled the home batters to finish with figures of three for 21.

Willey, who rejoined the Steelbacks after a seven-year stint at Yorkshire and was recently appointed T20 captain, looked set to lead his side to victory with 36 from 24 balls as they chased Worcestershire’s total of 196 for nine.

But Mir’s introduction triggered a Northamptonshire collapse as five wickets tumbled for 26 and fellow leg-spinner Brett D’Oliveira chipped in with three for 28 to restrict the hosts to 181 for eight.

Worcestershire, who finished bottom of the North Group last season with just two wins, won the toss and batted but were soon in trouble as Tom Taylor (three for 42) removed both openers in the powerplay.

Having swung Taylor for the first six of the night, Michael Bracewell attempted a repeat to a slower ball and picked out deep square leg, while Rapids skipper D’Oliveira lost his middle peg going for the scoop.

Jack Haynes began the rebuilding job, finding the boundary regularly in his 27 from 17, but he and Kashif Ali (16 from 12) were both caught in the deep off miscued shots and it was left to Adam Hose to underpin the innings with a knock of 61 from 40.

The Rapids batter was handed a life on 43, driving James Sales to mid-off where Willey fumbled the catch and went on to complete his half-century from 34 deliveries by leg-glancing AJ Tye to the boundary.

But Hose eventually perished in controversial circumstances, skying a Graeme White full toss that looked high enough to enter no-ball territory and the bowler sprinted towards midwicket to complete a sprawling catch.

Ed Pollock maintained momentum, clubbing Taylor for two sixes in his 23 from 11 and Mir slammed an unbeaten 20 from only seven balls before the innings closed with two run-outs – one a deft piece of fielding by Willey off his own bowling to remove Adam Finch.

The Steelbacks were handed a bonus at the start of their reply, with Mitchell Stanley’s first three balls going for wides down the leg side, but they soon began scoring freely off the bat as well.

Ricardo Vasconcelos brought out the paddle shot to good effect against Finch before Chris Lynn came to the party, punching four consecutive boundaries off Bracewell to bring up 50 at the start of the fifth over.

Having reached 28 from 14, Lynn immediately holed out to Stanley, but Willey announced his arrival at the crease in dramatic fashion, dispatching Pat Brown for 14 in three balls and then hoisting Finch for two colossal sixes.

Northamptonshire looked comfortable at 90 for one, but Mir struck with his fourth delivery, bowling Vasconcelos for 32 and, when Josh Cobb speared Brown to extra cover in the next over, the pendulum tilted towards the visitors.

Saif Zaib and Rob Keogh fell to Mir, while Willey was taken on the boundary off D’Oliveira and, despite Taylor’s valiant unbeaten knock of 44 from 26, it was not enough to save the Steelbacks.

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